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Letters to the editor, June 27, 2013

These are the letters and comments from the print edition

Quiet the voice of the people
Frank Palermo's comments ("Outdated plan," Letters & Comments, June 20) are bang on! The development of Halifax (and I mean the Halifax-Dartmouth-Bedford-Sackville area) must be placed in the hands of knowledgeable people working under a framework that is sensitive to but not constrained by our over 250 years of history. This has been done successfully in other places in the world.

Municipal Planning Strategy and land use bylaws developed by citizen engagement just does not work. One can find ample evidence of this---our Utility and Review Board is kept very busy resolving disputes and appeals as a result of these plans.

There is a story about Steve Jobs when he was developing a product for which there was no discernible use. Mr. Jobs said, "You build it and then convince the consumer that they want/need it." He was extremely successful in this approach.

I have never believed in consensus. The product is something that most can live with but only begrudgingly. No one is satisfied. —Gordon A. Boyce, Dartmouth

Street talk
As a woman and a citizen of Halifax, I am disappointed in Ainslie Moss' article "Men are behaving like assholes and I'm sick of it" (Voice of the City, June 20). I agree that some men do behave like assholes but women are not as powerless as Moss seems to think. Nor was Moss powerless in her situation. She was just, for lack of a better word, stupid.

To quote Moss' comment about her interactions with a group of rude drunk men on Agricola Street: "I wish that there was more that I could have done without putting myself in harm's way...." I am here to say there was more she could have done and plenty she shouldn't have!

If you see a very large, very drunk man or group of men staggering down our streets yelling profanities and carrying open liquor DO NOT "put yourself in harm's way" by interacting with them. DO discretely duck around a corner get on your cell phone, call 911 and report the assholes. Not only will this ensure they won't be harassing any other women, but there is nothing like a night in the drunk tank to teach guys like that a lesson.

The only reason those guys got the better of you, Ms. Moss, is NOT because you were powerless, it is because you failed to exercise good judgement. —Thia Rutledge, via email

I too have been faced with similar situations while walking alone in Halifax, and am always wary when I am approaching a group of strangers. I'm a man. While I don't think Moss implies all men are assholes (thankfully), it does seem to imply that only women are victims. I can understand that the angle here is that women are faced with these situations for no reason, but I can't help but feel like the piece enables the men vs. women mindset rather than what it should be: assholes vs. everyone else. —posted by themax at

You met a few rude, drunk guys outside of a pub and this encounter compelled you to write an essay about how men in general are "behaving badly?" OK, this should come as no surprise but some men are nice, some are assholes and most fall somewhere in between. The exact same thing goes for women. —posted by ryek

Thanks for writing this. I walk a lot at night, and for the most part feel safe. But there's been times when I've been yelled at from a car that's come dangerously close to hitting me, or by people who I refuse to give smokes to, but I think a lot of it has to do with the culture of alcohol consumption in Halifax.

There are tons and tons of nice guys, and when I walk around my neighbourhood, I know the majority of my neighbours are decent people who look out for one another. But there are no bars in my neighbourhood, fewer students and people in their 20s and mostly hard-working families who don't have time to go around harassing others. —posted by hollah!

As a man this drives me batshit. I'm sorry for dudes like this. And everyone who's giving the author a hard time should think about what it might be like to be cornered like this on a public street and feel completely uncertain about what an aggressive, drunk, clearly volatile person who's physically stronger than you might do. —posted by pigeon

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